Skip to main content

Full text of "Anti-Semitism in Germany, by Israel Cohen"

See other formats




Author  of  “Jewish  Life  in  Modern  Time*, 
“The  Ruhleben  Prison  Camp,”  etc. 





One  Penny 


i a ' ; 










Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2016 




THE  most  sinister  phenomenon  in  the  history  of 
modern  Jewry  is  the  hostile  movement  gene- 
rally known  by  the  name  of  Anti-Semitism. 
The  Jews  have,  throughout  their  dispersion,  been 
exposed  to  a succession  of  attacks  on  the  part  of  the 
States  or  the  peoples  in  whose  midst  they  dvelt, 
but  from  the  last  quarter  of  the  nineteenth  century 
these  attacks  assumed  a new  form  and  were,  therefore, 
distinguished  by  a new  name.  In  former  ages,  the 
prejudice  against  the  Jew  was  based  upon  his  religion 
and  disappeared  when  he  abandoned  the  faith  of  his 
fathers.  In  modern  times  it  has  developed  into 
something  wider  and  deeper.  The  prejudice  is 
directed  against  the  Jews  as  a race  and  manhests 
itself  in  all  phases  of  human  activity.  It  seeks  its 
justification  in  all  that  the  Jews  may  say,  do,  or 
think  ; it  feeds  upon  popular  superstitions,  exploded 
myths,  and  uncontrollable  rumours  ; and  it  expresses 
itself  in  a variety  of  acts  of  intolerance  suggesth  e 
of  the  age  of  mediaeval  barbarism.  Anti-Semitism 
knows  of  no  redeeming  quality  in  the  Jew.  It 
regards  him  as  a perennial  source  of  evil  and  danger 
to  the  State,  and  demands  his  expulsion  or  his 

The  “ spiritual  home  ” of  this  fanatical  move- 
ment is  Germany,  whence  it  has  penetrated  to 
other  countries  ; and  a brief  survey  of  the  course 
it  has  run  in  Germany  since  the  establishment  of 

4 Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 

the  Empire  will  show  what  indignity,  suffering, 
and  injustice  the  Jews  have  had  to  endure  in  a 
land  that  never  ceases  to  boast  of  its  Kultur. 

Anti  Semitism  began  to  manifest  itself  against 
the  Jews  in  Germany  very  soon  after  the  victorious 
campaign  against  France,  although  they  bore  their 
full  share  in  the  efforts  of  the  Fatherland.  The 
movement  against  the  Jews  arose  from  a variety  of 
motives,  and  the  multiplicity  of  its  origin  largely 
contributed  to  its  strength  and  bitterness.  In  the 
first  place,  the  State  was  engaged  in  a stubborn 
fight  against  the  Catholic  Church,  which  sought  to 
inciease  its  authority ; and  as  the  leaders  of  the 
latter  body  were  unable  to  make  any  headway  in  the 
struggle  they  represented  the  Kulturkampf  as  a 
war  of  Jewry  against  Christendom,  as  an  onslaught 

on  the  part  of  the  “ alien  ” Jewish  element  against 

The  Catholic  organs,  especially  the  Germania 
and  the  Kolnische  Volkszeitung , indulged  in  the 
most  unbridled  abuse  of  the  Jews.  The  former 
demanded  that  all  the  offences  of  individual  Jews 
should  be  carefully  recorded,  so  that  they  might 
be  attributed  to  the  whole  of  Jewry,  and  also  that 
the  Jews  should  be  boycotted.  The  Catholics  were 
soon  joined  in  their  unholy  warfare  by  the  Protes- 
tants, and  having  succeeded  in  making  the  Jews 
appear  as  the  enemies  of  the  State  and  society, 
they  were  content  to  leave  the  leadership  to  the 

This  religious  attack  was  soon  reinforced  by 
assaults  from  the  commercial,  political,  and  even 


Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 

scientific  domains.  The  material  prosperity  that 
followed  the  conclusion  of  the  Franco-German  war 
led  to  the  formation  of  hosts  of  companies,  and  a 
great  deal  of  reckless  speculation.  Despite  repeated 
warnings,  especially  the  exposures  in  the  Reichstag 
bv  the  leading  Tewish  politicians,  Lasker  and  Bam- 
berger, the  not  of  commercial  gambling  continued 
until,  in  1873,  the  great  bubble  burst.  Hundreds  of 
companies  were  ruined,  and  hundreds  of  thousands  of 
investors  were  despoiled,  either  of  a big  part  01  of  the 
whole  of  their  fortune.  At  once  the  entire  blame  was 
fastened  upon  the  Jews,  who  were  denounced  as 
exploiters,  usurers,  and  swindlers.  That  Jews  were 
largely  represented  among  the  Stock  Exchange 
speculators  was  true,  but  it  was  also  inevitable,  since 
for  more  than  a thousand  years  the  State  had  con- 
fined the  economic  activities  of  the  Jew  to  commerce. 
But  they  represented  only  a minority  of  the 
promoters  involved  in  the  scandal. 

Popular  feeling  was  inflamed  by  the  publication 
of  a sensational  pamphlet,  Der  Sieg  des  Juden- 
tums  fiber  das  Germanentum,”  by  a hitherto 
unknown  scribe,  Wilhelm  Marr,  who  demanded  that 
the  State  should  be  a nacional  unit  comprising 
only  individuals  of  the  same  racial  origin.  Marr 
argued  that  the  heterogeneous  elements  should 
either  be  absorbed  or  eliminated.  Such  was  the 
pseudo-scientific  principle  of  the  new  Anti-Semitism. 
Shortly  afterwards  there  appeared  another  sen- 
sational pamphlet,  by  Otto  Glogau,  violently  at- 
tacking the  Jews  for  their  participation  in  the 
commercial  scandals. 

6 Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 

The  political  impetus  to  Anti-Semitism  was 
supplied  by  Bismarck.  Since  1877  the  relations 
between  Bismarck  and  the  National  Liberals  had 
gradually  become  strained,  after  the  leaders  of  this 
party,  Lasker  and  Bamberger,  had  helped  the  Iron 
Chancellor  to  bring  about  the  consolidation  of  the 
Empire.  Bismarck  now  wanted  the  support  of  these 
leaders  in  his  proposals  for  new  taxes.  Lasker  and 
Bamberger  replied  by  demanding  the  introduction 
of  a constitutional  and  economic  regime  like  that  in 
England,  and  as  Bismarck  refused  they  led  a power- 
ful secession  of  National  Liberals  into  opposition. 

Bismarck  was  then  compelled  to  seek  a new 
majority  among  the  Catholic  and  Conservative 
parties,  and  in  order  to  wreak  his  revenge  upon  the 
Judaised  Liberals  ” he  decided  to  make  use  of 
the  convenient  weapon  supplied  by  Anti-Semitism. 
From  1878  Anti-Semitism  became  a distinct  politi- 
cal programme.  It  was  the  first  time  in  the  history 
of  a modern  State  that  candidates  sought  election 
to  Parliament  on  the  ground  of  their  enmity 
towards  the  Jews.  The  elections  of  that  year 
resulted  in  an  increase  of  Conservative  members, 
and  an  attempt  was  made  to  win  over  the  masses  of 
the  people  to  the  Conservative  programme  by  the 
foundation  of  the  Christian  Socialist  Party. 

The  founder  of  this  new  party  was  the  Court 
Preacher,  Adolf  Stocker,  who  combined  eloquence 
and  energy  with  social  influence.  Under  his  male- 
ficent direction,  there  began  a campaign  of  abuse  and 
hostility  against  the  Jews,  which  made  their  so-called 
civil  rights  a mere  mockery.  Stocker  created  his 

Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 


Christian  Socialism  with  a view  to  bringing  the 
masses  under  the  influence  of  the  Church  and  using 
them  for  his  nefarious  policy.  He  had  the  support 
of  Conservatives,  Lutherans,  and  Lltramontanes, 
and  with  their  combined  aid  violent  onslaughts  were 
made  in  the  Prussian  Diet  against  the  Jews.  . A 
petition  was  even  addressed  to  Bismarck  piaying 
for  the  exclusion  of  the  Jews  from  the  national 
schools  and  universities,  and  also  from  all  public 

Stocker  found  a powerful  champion  of  his 
reactionary  doctrines  in  the  historian  Treitschke, 
who,  through  his  lectures  at  the  Berlin  University, 
was  able  to  poison  the  minds  of  the  academic  youth 
against  the  Jewish  people.  In  his  pamphlet,  “ Ein 
Wort  iiber  unsere  Juden,”  Treitschke  spoke  of  the 
German  Jews  as  “ Polish  youths  engaged  in  the  sale 
of  trousers,”  and  wrote  : “In  the  circles  of  educated 
Germans,  who  would  protest  indignantly  against  the 
charge  of  religious  or  national  intolerance,  one  single 
cry  is  heard,  ‘ The  Jews  are  our  misfortune/  ” The 
statements  of  Treitschke  were  actually  referred  to  by 
Von  Puttkamer,  who  was  appointed  Minister  of 
Public  Worship  by  Bismarck,  as  proof  of  the  necessity 
of  preserving  the  denominational  character  of  public 

In  the  course  of  a debate  in  the  Prussian 
Diet,  Professor  Virchow  declared  that  the  Anti- 
Semitic  movement  had  received  encouragement  and 
material  aid  from  the  secret  funds  of  the  Government, 
which  desired  to  see  some  Jewish  deputies  defeated. 
Treitschke  was  not  the  only  academic  champion  of 

S Aiiti-Senqdtism  in  Germany. 

Anti-Semitism.  He  was  seconded  by  Eugen  Duhring, 
a Socialist  lecturer  on  philosophy,  whose  antipathy 
to  all  products  of  the  Semitic  spirit  was  so  strong 
that  he  even  attacked  Christianity.  The  example 
set  by  these  University  luminaries  found  innumer- 
able imitators.  Even  the  semi-official  Norddeutsche 
Allgem, eine  Zeitung  indulged  in  Jew-baiting,  and 
hence  it  was  not  surprising  that  every  provincial 
paper  engaged  in  the  like  sport. 

But  the  attacks  were  not  confined  to  pamphlets 
or  the  press.  The  Jews  were  soon  subjected  to 
petty  persecutions  and  violent  assaults.  In  many 
rural  districts  the  roofs  of  their  houses  were  re- 
moved, their  fruit-trees  were  cut  down,  and  their 
olive-yards  and  cornfields  were  laid  waste.  “ In 
the  small  towns,”  says  Professor  Martin  Philippson, 
the  Jews  found  themselves  boycotted  in  society, 
and  often  also  in  business.  Officers  and  officials 
openly  displayed  Anti-Semitic  papers,  the  students 
mocked  and  thrashed  their  Jewish  comrades,  pro- 
ceedings which  often  led  to  duels  ; in  gymnastic 
and  veterans'  societies  the  cry  re-echoed  : ‘ Out 

with  the  Jews  ! ' Restaurants  and  hotels  tried  to 
attract  the  Anti-Semitic  public  by  proclaiming 
themselves  as  judenrein  (free  from  Jews).  Many 
watering-places  and  health  resorts  made  the  stay 
of  Jewish  visitors  impossible.”  * 

These  senseless  attacks  upon  the  Jews  aroused 
a feeling  of  revulsion  among  the  enlightened  intel- 
lectual element,  and  a manifesto,  signed  by  a number 

* Prof.  Martin  Philippson,  Neueste  Geschichte  des  jiidischen  Volkes , 

vol.  ii. , pp.  17-18. 

Anti-Semitism  in  Germany.  y 

of  illustrious  men,  including  Mommsen,  Gneist, 
Virchow,  and  Siemens,  was  published,  denouncing 
Anti-Semitism  as  a blot  on  German  culture  and  as 
a gross  injustice  to  the  Jews  themselves.  But  so 
strong  did  the  anti- Jewish  feeling  become  that 
even  Mommsen  was  swept  away  by  it : he  described 
the  Jews  as  an  element  of  decomposition  and 
called  upon  them  to  shake  off  their  characteristics 
and  adopt  Christianity. 

On  the  other  hand,  Christian  defenders  of  the 
Jews,  whether  dead  or  living,  were  exposed  to 
bitter  abuse.  A movement  to  raise  a statue  to 
Lessing  in  Berlin  was  vigorously  opposed  by  the 
Conservatives  and  Clerics,  and  the  realisation  of  the 
project  was  long  deferred.  Similarly,  the  celebration 
of  the  seventieth  birthday  of  Professor  Virchow, 
who  bravely  championed  the  Jewish  cause,  aroused 
a strong  counter-agitation  among  German  students. 
The  Prussian  Government,  which  was  repeatedly 
appealed  to,  said  that  it  would  protect  the  Jews  in 
their  constitutional  rights,  but  it  made  liberal  con- 
cessions to  the  Anti-Semites.  Instigated  by  the 
Government,  the  Reichstag  refused  to  grant  Jewish 
ministers  of  religion  the  same  privileges  as  were 
enjoyed  by  Christian  ministers  in  regard  to  the 
discharge  of  military  duty,  whilst  the  Minister  of 
Instruction,  Von  Puttkamer,  reiused  10  appoint 
Jews  as  teachers  at  higher  grade  schools. 

In  the  leading  university  towns  societies  were 
formed  by  German  students  with  a programme  of 
active  Anti-Semitism,  and  municipal  elections  too 
were  soon  vitiated  by  the  same  racial  intolerance. 

10  Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 

. ) 

Personal  insults  of  Jews  in  the  streets,  in  restau- 
rants, and  cafes  became  the  order  of  the  day,  leading 
to  numerous  duels,  often  with  a fatal  consequence. 
On  New  Year's  Eve,  1881,  a band  of  500  Anti- 
Semitic  rowdies  rushed  through  the  Jewish  quarters 
in  Berlin,  committing  outrages  wherever  they  could. 
That  these  excesses  did  not  become  worse  was  solely 
due  to  the  restraining  influence  exercised  by  the 
Socialist  leaders,  Bebel  and  Liebknecht,  among  the 
working  classes. 

The  agitation  was  not  by  any  means  confined 
to  the  capital it  spread  to  all  parts  of  Germany, 
and  was  particularly  violent  in  Saxony.  At  a Church 
Conference  in  Thuringia  a pastor  declared  that 
the  Jews  must  be  rooted  out  with  iron  hooks." 
Military  officers,  civil  officials,  judges,  university 
professors,  all  worked  assiduously  for  the  exclusion 
of  Jews  from  their  particular  professions.  Anti- 
Semitic  outbreaks  were  treated  by  the  police  with  a 
leniency  that  contrasted  strangely  with  their  atti- 
tude towards  Socialist  demonstrations.  Lawyers 
regarded  the  prevalent  feeling  as  a mitigating 
circumstance  in  anti-Jewish  attacks,  whilst  the 
courts  did  not  allow  any  Jewish  body  to  prosecute 
in  the  name  of  the  Jewish  people.  Life  became  so 
uncertain  that  many  Jews  left  Berlin  and  Frankfort 
for  safer  districts. 

Riots  broke  out  in  the  east  of  Brandenburg, 
in  Pomerania,  and  West  Prussia.  In  Neustettin 
many  Jews  were  assaulted  and  damage  was  done  to 
houses  and  furniture  ; in  Hammerstein  the  syna- 
gogue was  damaged  three  times  ; and  violent  dis- 

Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 


turbances  occurred  in  a number  of  other  places— 
Bublitz,  Jastrow,  Konitz,  Falkenburg,  Rumrnels- 
burg,  Lauenburg,  Polzin,  Pollnow,  Baldenburg, 
S chived)  ein,  and  Stolp — causing  hundreds  of 
families  to  flee  for  refuge. 

’ The  Anti-Semites,  realising  their  increasing 
strength,  held  their  first  “ International  Congress  '' 
in  1881  at  Dresden.  It  was  attended  by  300 
members,  including  Austrians,  Hungarians,  and 
Russians,  and  it  resolved  to  issue  a “ Manifesto  to 
the  Governments  and  Peoples  of  the  Christian 
States  endangered  by  Judaism/'  But  the  Congress 
and  its  Manifesto  had  no  effect,  because  the  pogroms 
in  Russia  had  just  broken  out.  That  the  origin  of 
these  massacres  was  to  be  traced  to  civilised  Germany 
is  admitted  by  even  so  cautious  and  dispassionate 
a historian  as  Professor  Philippson,  for  he  writes  : 

Even  Germany,  characterised  by  the  whole  world 
as  the  home  of  Anti-Semitism,  did  not  remain 
unmoved  by  the  horror  aroused  by  these  atrocities, 
for  it  indeed  bore  a good  share  of  responsibility 
for  their  occurrence/'* 

Owing  partly  to  the  reaction  caused  by  the 
Russian  pogroms,  and  partly  to  the  differences 
among  the  Anti-Semites  themselves,  the  Jews  en- 
joyed a brief  respite.  The  racial  views  of  Marr 
and  Treitschke,  which  were  also  adopted  by 
Nietzsche,  were  unacceptable  to  Stocker  and  Iris 
Christian  Socialists,  and  hence,  in  March,  1881,  two 
rival  bodies  were  created,  the  “ Deutscher 
Volksverein " and  the  “ Sozialer  Reichsverein.” 

* Neuesti  Geschichte  des  judiscker.  Voi&es,  vol.  ii.,  p.  29. 

12  Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 

Five  years  iater,  at  an  Anti-Semitic  Congress  at 
Cassel,  a reunion  was  effected  under  the  name  of 
“ Deutscher  Antisemitischer  Verein,’’  but  in  June, 
1889,  the  Christian  Socialists  under  Stocker  seceded 

Not  content  with  his  success  in  Germany, 
Stocker  resolved  to  propagate  his  sinister  gospel  in 
England.  He  came  to  London  in  1883  and  wished 
to  hold  a meeting  in  the  Mansion  House,  but  the 
Lord  Mayor  declined  the  honour.  Thereupon  he 
organised  a public  meeting  at  the  Memorial  Hall 
(November  1-lth,  1883),  but  the  opposition  was  so 
strong  that  the  meeting  had  to  be  abandoned. 
Upon  his  return  to  the  Fatherland,  Stocker  continued 
his  slanderous  campaign,  with  the  result  that  he  was 
declared  a perjurer  by  one  of  the  courts  in  which  he 
was  prosecuted.  But  his  followers  were  so  lost  to 
all  sense  of  shame  that  they  presented  him  with  a 
consolation  prize  of  60,000  marks,  and  an  Orthodox 
Church  Conference  actually  addressed  him  in  the 
words  : “ God  Himself  will  heal  the  wound  that  you 
have  sustained.’ ’ 

Yet,  although  Stocker  was  publicly  discredited, 
the  Government  took  no  steps  to  repress  the  agita- 
tion that  he  had  brought  into  being.  On  the 
contrary,  in  all  the  German  States  the  Jews  were 
gradually  excluded  from  all  branches  of  the  civil 
service,  from  a military  career,  and  from  * the 
teaching  profession.  Petitions  were  also  addressed 
to  the  Government  to  prohibit  all  Jewish  immigra- 
tion from  Russia,  and,  although  they  were  not 
directly  granted,  the  Government  agreed  to  exercise 

Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 


strict  supervision  over  the  Russian  refugees  who 
arrived  in  large  numbers  in  Germany.  The  Govern- 
ment discovered  a long-forgotten  law,  from  which  it 
deduced  the  right  to  expel  all  foreigners  employed 
by  a Jewish  community  (October,  1884)  ; and  an 
edict  issued  in  1885  for  the  expulsion  of  all  foreign 
Poles  from  the  eastern  provinces  of  Germany  was 
undoubtedly  aimed  at  the  Russian  Jews  domiciled 
in  those  parts. 

Moreover,  various  attempts  were  made  to  de- 
prive the  Jews  of  their  constitutional  rights,  and 
motions  were  repeatedly  brought  forward,  not  only 
in  the  Reichstag,  but  in  the  Diets  of  the  Federal 
States,  to  appoint  commissions  for  the  investiga- 
tion and  the  translation  of  the  Talmud  and  the 
“ Shulchan  Aruch  ” at  the  expense  of  the  Govern- 
ment, and  to  cause  the  prohibition  of  “ Shechita  ” 
the  Jewish  ritual  method  of  slaughtering.  These 
proposals,  which  were  all  so  reminiscent  of  the 
middle  ages,  had  the  support  of  many  leading 
scholars  and  scientists.  The  historian  Treitschke 
and  the  economist  Adolf  Wagner  were  joined  in 
1886  by  the  Orientalist  Paul  de  Lagarde,  who 
emphatically  demanded  the  complete  absorption 
of  the  Jews  in  the  German  State,  or  their  wholesale 

From  1887  Anti-Semitism  entered  upon  a new 
and  worse  period  of  vilification.  The  Reichstag 
resounded  with  anti-Jewish  denunciations  from 
Stocker  and  his  coadjutors,  Bockel  and  Liebermann 
von  Sonnenberg.  Anti-Semitic  social  gatherings 
were  arranged,  at  which  music  was  provided  by 


14  Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 

military  bands,  although  these  were  not  allowed  to 
play  at  Radical  meetings.  Newspapers  were  founded 
for  purely  anti-Jewish  purposes,  supplemented  by 
comic  papers  and  caricatures.  The  accession  of 
William  II.  brought  another  brief  respite,  but  in 
June,  1889,  a fresh  campaign  was  opened  by  the 
Catholic  Germania  and  the  Conservative  Kreuz- 
zeitung.  An  Anti-Semitic  Congress  held  at  the  same 
time  at  Bochum  demanded  that  the  Jews  should  be 
deprived  of  all  State  and  commercial  honours  and 
offices  and  should  also  be  excluded  from  the  army. 
The  position  of  the  Jews  was  becoming  more  and 
more  seriously  undermined  in  the  social  and  economic 
world : they  were  met  everywhere  with  hatred  and 
contempt.  Their  arch-enemy,  Stocker,  was  dis- 
missed at  the  end  of  1830  from  the  office  of  Court 
Preacher,  not,  however,  because  of  his  Anti- 
Semitism,  but  because  of  his  presumptuous  attitude 
towards  the  Imperial  Family.  But,  though  dis- 
graced, Stocker  continued  his  savage  campaign 

A new  agitator  then  arose  in  the  person  of 
Hermann  Ahlwardt,  a man  of  evil  notoriety,  who  had 
been  dismissed  from  his  post  as  head  of  a school. 
An  unscrupulous  demagogue  of  the  worst  order,  he 
outdid  all  his  predecessors  in  sensationalism  and 
violence.  He  issued  a shoal  of  villainous  pamphlets, 
and  was  repeatedly  prosecuted  for  libel  and  con- 
victed, but  his  influence  only  increased.  In 
February,  1889,  a band  of  500  youths  raided  the 
streets  in  the  south-east  of  Berlin,  plundering 
wherever  they  could  ; amid  wild  shouts  of  “Juden 

Anti-Semitism  in  Germany.  15 

heraus  ! ” (Out  with  the  Jews).  The  State  authorities 
connived  at  all  anti- Jewish  attacks,  and  hence  it 
was  not  surprising  that  the  President  of  the 
Oberlandesgericht  (Supreme  Court)  of  the  Province 
of  Silesia,  in  Breslau,  issued  an  order  in  May,  1891, 
to  the  presidents  of  all  courts  in  his  jurisdiction,  to 
exclude  all  Jews  from  their  jury  lists  “ except  those 
who  were  suitable/'  It  was  observed,  moreover, 
that  at  the  elections  for  the  Prussian  Diet,  when  the 
voting  is  public,  all  the  officials,  from  the  highest 
to  the  lowest,  gave  their  suffrages  to  Anti-Semitic 
candidates.  So  threatening  was  the  hostility  becom- 
ing that  early  in  1891  a society  was  founded  by  a 
number  of  leading  liberal-minded  men  for  defence 
against  anti-Semitism. 

No  sooner  was  this  society  founded  than  it  had 
work  to  do.  At  Xanten,  on  the  Lower  Rhine,  there 
was  found,  on  June  29th,  1891,  the  body  of  a five- 
year-old  boy  with  his  throat  cut.  At  once  the  old 
legend  of  ritual  murder  was  resurrected.  A Jewish 
butcher,  Adolf  Buschoff,  was  accused,  and  he  and  his 
family  were  imprisoned.  But  as  nothing  was  proved 
they  were  released  at  the  end  of  the  year.  A few 
months  later  Stocker  made  an  interpellation  on  the 
matter  in  the  Prussian  Diet,  with  the  result  that 
Buschoff  was  again  arrested  and  tried.  The  verdict 
was  an  acquittal,  but  Buschoff  and  other  Jews  were 
compelled  to  leave  Xanten.  The  next  scandal  was 
caused  by  a pamphlet  of  Ahlwardt,  “ Judenflinten,” 
in  which  he  accused  the  armament  firm  of  Ludwig 
Lowe  ^of  being  bribed  by  the  xALliance  Israelite  of 
Paris  to  deliver  inferior  guns  to  the  Prussian  Army , 


Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 

so  that  the  latter  might  be  defeated  in  the  next  war 
of  revenge.  The  falsity  of  the  charge  was  proved  by 
a Government  official,  but  it  was  not  until  after 
thousands  of  copies  of  the  pamphlet  had  been  sold 
in  the  streets  that  it  was  confiscated,  and  Ahlwardt, 
after  prosecution,  was  sentenced  to  five  months' 

“ The  savage  war  against  the  Jews,"  writes 
Professor  Philippson,  “ raged  everywhere  in  North 
Germany,  threatened  their  honour  and  social  position 
and  even,  especial!}’  in  the  small  towns,  their 
material  existence.  There  had  not  been  such 
happenings  since  the  ‘ Hep,  hep  ! ’ riots  of  seventy 
years  before.  At  Christmas,  1S92,  tickets  were 
distributed  and  stamps  affixed  everywhere  with  the 
inscription  : ' Don’t  buy  from  Jews  ! ’ The  personal 
mockery  and  maltreatment  of  individual  Jews  by 
Anti-Semitic  roughs,  among  whom  there  were  often 
so-called  educated  people,  were  the  order  of  the  dav, 
and  likewise  the  exclusion  of  Jews  from  social  and 
athletic  unions,  and  even  from  public  and  private 
appointments.  Many  bathing-resorts,  especially  on 
the  Baltic  coast  and  the  North  Sea,  refused  admis- 
sion to  Jewish  visitors.  Even  before  the  majesty  and 
the  sorrow  of  death  Anti-Semitism  made  no  halt  ! 
Jewish  funerals  were  scoffed  at,  Jewish  cemeteries 
were  desecrated  by  ruffians.  Jewish  houses  were 
defiled  with  mire  ; obscene  postcards — naturallv 
anonymous — were  sent  to  Jews.  The  shop  windows 
of  many  booksellers  and  newspaper  shops  teemed 
with  caricatures  and  lampoons  against  the  Jews/’* 

* -A  eu&ste  Geschichre  zes  ~ fizischen  Volkes,  vol.  ii. , pp.  48,  49. 

Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 


There  appeared  to  be  no  limits  to  the  excesses 
or  the  extravagance  of  the  Jew-baiters.  At  a North- 
German  Anti-Semitic  Conference  in  Berlin,  held  on 
September  18th,  1893,  and  attended  by  a thousand 
persons,  the  State  was  called  upon  to  confiscate 
Jewish  capital,  “ as  it  had  come  only  from  robbery 
of  the  German  people/'  In  the  following  year  the 
German  Social  Reform  Party  demanded  in  the 
Reichstag  the  abolition  of  Shechita,"  the  intro- 
duction of  a religious  oath  in  law  courts,,  and  the 
prohibition  of  the  immigration  of  foreign  Jews, 
but  these  demands  were  rejected.  A sensation  was 
caused  soon  after  by  the  declaration  of  the  Supreme 
Court  of  Justice  in  Germany  Reichsgenchi  in 
Leipzig  that  all  slanders  against  institutions  of  the 
Jewish  religion  were  directed  not  against  Judaism, 
but  against  the  Jewish  race,  which  did  not  enjoy 
legal  protection,  and  this  decision  was  naturally 
followed  in  the  lower  courts.  Of  a kindred  nature 
was  the  declaration,  made  a few  years  later,  by  the 
Prussian  Minister  of  Justice  at  the  Diet  January 
31st — February  1st,  1901),  that  the  rule  of  the 
Constitution  that  the  enjoyment  of  civil  and  Mate 
rights  is  independent  of  one's  religious  denomination 
does  not  hold  for  the  Jews  and  is  systematically 
ignored  in  regard  to  them  by  the  Prussian  Govern- 
ment.  Three  hundred  Jewish  communities  in  Prussia 
at  once  addressed  a protest  to  the  Minister-President, 
the  Imperial  Chancellor,  von  Billow,  but  they  were 
not  even  vouchsafed  a reply. 

The  leaders  of  the  Anti-Semitic  party  became 
more  and  more  discredited  owing  to  their  evil  fives, 

18  Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 

but  the  seed  they  had  sown  could  not  be  rooted  out. 
One  of  the  most  remarkable  figures  among  them  was 
a demented  Silesian  nobleman,  Count  Piickler, 
who  began  a new  crusade  in  Berlin,  demanding  the 
extermination  of  the  Jews.  The  Count  was 
repeatedly  prosecuted  and  acquitted,  until  he  was 
ultimately  interned  in  a mad-house.  The  “ritual 
murder  ’’  scare  was  again  raised  in  the  ’90s  in 
various  parts  of  North  Germany,  at  Berent  and 
Skurz  (West  Prussia),  Konigshutte  (Upper  Silesia), 
Ubermatzhofen  (Bavaria),  etc.,  and  everywhere  the 
untruth  of  the  accusation  was  conclusively  proved. 
The  most  serious  case  was  at  Konitz  (West  Prussia), 
where,  on  March  11th,  1900,  the  mutilated  body  of 
a dissolute  student,  Ernst  Winter,  was  found.  A 
Jewish  butcher,  Israelski,  was  kept  in  prison  five 
months  until  his  innocence  was  proved,  and  his  ac- 
quittal caused  such  a disturbance  in  the  town  that 
an  infantry  battalion  had  to  clear  the  streets  with 
bayonets.  Even  the  declaration  of  the  Ministers 
of  Justice  and  of  the  Interior  left  the  charge  of 
“ritual  murder”  an  open  question. 

Sufficient  evidence  has  already  been  advanced 
to  show  that,  although  Anti-Semitism  was  conducted 
as  a political  party,  its  tenets  were  fully  approved 
by  the  German  Government  ; and  it  was  for  the 
express  purpose  of  safeguarding  the  rights  granted 
to  them  by  the  Constitution  that  the  Jews  of 
Germany,  in  1892,  founded  the  “ Centralverein 
deutscher  Staatsbiirger  jiidischen  Glaubens,”  and,  in 
1904,  the  \ erband  der  deutschen  Juden.”  Thanks 
to  the  efiorts  of  these  two  bodies,  the  Anti-Semitic 

Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 


party,  as  a party,  has  lost  its  influence  ; but  Anti- 
Semitism  is  just  as  rampant  as  ever  among  the 
Conservatives  and  the  National  Liberals,  among 
the  landed  aristocracy  and  military  circles.  Before 
the  war  no  Jew  might  receive  a commission  in  the 
army,  and  he  was  even  denied  the  trifling  honour  of 
becoming  a lieutenant  of  the  reserve ; and  although, 
since  the  war,  commissions  have  had  to  be  conferred 
upon  some  Jewish  soldiers,  to  fill  the  gaps  in  the 
ranks  of  officers,  there  is  no  guarantee  that  the 
holders  will  be  permitted  to  retain  them  after  the 


Similarly,  the  civil  service  is  still  rigorously 
barred  to  the  Jews,  and  although  Jews  distinguish 
themselves  so  highly  at  the  universities  they  are 
denied  an  ordinary  professorship  unless  they  accept 
baptism.  Even  the  famous  Professor  Ehrlich  had 
to  be  content  with  an  extraordinary  professorship. 
The  anti- Jewish  feeling  at  the  seats  of  learning  is  so 
strong  that  Jews  are  not  admitted  to  the  regular 
students’  corps  or  unions  and  have,  therefore, 
founded  their  own. 

The  Anti-Semitism  of  the  Government  is  not 
confined  to  native  Jews  but  is  equally  extended  to 
Jews  from  other  countries.  Foreign  Jews  who  have 
long  been  resident  in  the  country  are  refused 
naturalisation,  without  any  reason  being  assigned. 
Only  a year  before  the  outbreak  of  the  war  a ie- 
markable  movement  began  at  all  the  leading 
German  universities  for  the  exclusion  of  Russo- 
Jewish  students,  who  were  thus  compelled  . to 
migrate  to  Switzerland,  Italy,  and  other  countries. 

20  Anti-Semitism  in  Germany. 

" Can  the  leopard  change  his  spots  ? ” It 
would  be  hazardous,  indeed,  to  believe  that  Germany, 
which  is  so  saturated  with  the  Anti-Semitic  virus, 
will  emerge  from  the  war  a liberal  and  enlightened 
country.  The  recent  suggestion  that,  in  the  reforma- 
tion of  the  Prussian  Upper  Plouse,  provision  should 
be  made  for  the  inclusion  of  some  eminent  Jewish 
representatives  was  indignantly  spurned.  This 
reactionary  attitude  is  typical  of  the  German  State, 
which,  despite  all  its  vaunted  civilisation,  continues 
to  maintain  a policy  of  intolerance  and  hostility 
towards  its  Jewish  subjects. 

Printed  in  Great  Britain  by  Messrs.  Wightman  & Co.,  Ltd,,  Regency  St.,  London,  S.W.  1. 
(K  27735).  Wt,  19252/2529.  200,000.  2/18.  Gp.  37.